In a lot of ways, this game was a good sign following up the win against Texas last week. After all, KU was competitive throughout, losing 31-28 on basically a last-second field goal. But at the same time, this game was still full of KU football doing KU football things.
The first example that comes to mind is TCU QB Max Duggan. Dude picked up 74 rushing yards with a TD... on a broken foot. Good grief! Note: Duggan actually had 93 rushing yards, but 3 Kansas sacks for 19 yards count against that total.
Or how about the beginning of the game? KU wins the toss, elects to receive, and goes three-and-out. TCU muffs the punt near midfield, Kansas recovers... and goes three-and-out.
Or how about TCU converting four 3rd downs of 8 yards or longer, including a 3rd-and-23. Additionally, the Frogs had a 56-yard TD run on 3rd-and-1.
But even with all of that, Kansas still had a chance in the fourth quarter. After KU scored to tie the game, TCU took over with 4:46 to play. They drove right down the field, kicking a field goal on the 14th play of the drive to win the game. They threw just two passes on that drive, and only had to convert one 3rd down.
Guys, I have some bad news. The KU defense is bad. Very, very bad. Ugly, even. Yes, we love Kenny Logan and Kyron Johnson, but the unit as a whole is bad. TCU averaged 7.6 yards per play, rushing 49 times versus just 16 pass attempts. Despite the sheer volume of rush attempts, TCU still averaged 6.7 yards per rush, piling up 326 rushing yards for the game.
That’s insane, y’all.
On the flip side, Kansas averaged 6.2 yards per play, but just 4.0 yards per rush. KU was able to control the clock in the first half - hence the 14-7 lead - but TCU flipped the script in the second half.
It seemed like TCU converted every third down attempt, but the Frogs were “just” 7-14 (50.0%) on the day, while KU was its more typical self at 4-11 (36.4%) after converting more than 50% the week before.
Progress? Kansas was competitive in a Big 12 road environment for the second week in a row, and with a solid showing against West Virginia next weekend, Jayhawk football fans will have good reason to actually look forward to next year.
Not sure what Leipold was thinking on TCU’s final drive. KU waited until less than 30 seconds remained in the game to begin using its timeouts; by that point, TCU had already driven inside the KU 20-yard line.
We talked about it above, but this defense is just an absolute sieve. They get the occasional big turnover here and there, but if I didn’t see in the box score that TCU punted three times, I simply wouldn’t believe it. At 31 points, TCU put up the lowest output on the scoreboard of any D1 team that KU has played this year.
Jalon Daniels started and played QB the entire game. He finished 22-30 with a TD and an INT, and added 37 rushing yards on 6 carries, including a rush TD.
Jason Bean saw action as a wide receiver in this one, with one reception that lost a yard, and one rush attempt that gained a yard.
Devin Neal gained 59 yards on 14 carries with a TD. He added one reception for 13 yards. Neal left the game late in the second quarter with an apparent shoulder injury, and did not return.
Amauri Pesek Hickson added 28 yards on 9 carries.
Kwamie Lassiter hauled in 8 passes for 101 yards. He needs 14 receptions in the season finale to tie Mark Simmons for fourth in the KU record books. He can also move into the top-10 in school history in receiving yards if he can get 95 more yards against Western Virginia.
Luke Grimm caught 4 balls for 39 yards and a rather impressive TD.
UT-Austin hero Jared Casey hauled in 4 receptions, including a TD.
Kenny Logan led all defenders with 15 tackles, including 2 TFL.
Kyron Johnson had 8 tackles, including a sack.
Rich Miller added 7 tackles.
Jereme Robinson had 3 tackles, including a sack, as well as a forced fumble.
Jacobee Bryant had an INT for the second-straight game, but just 1 tackle to go with it.
Jacob Borcila missed a 45-yard field goal attempt in the second quarter which I have seen people say cost KU the game. But I say, were you not watching TCU’s final drive? They could have easily scored a TD if they wanted to.
Reis Vernon booted 3 punts but with just a 34-yard average.